Entry for August 29, 2008: Role-playing roundup

For the past two months, I've been hosting face-to-face sessions of Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition on Monday nights. Although I didn't even have the core rulebooks initially because of Amazon.com shipping delays, I've been reading various postings to Wizards of the Coast's Web site and on EnWorld.org, and I've caught up to most of the current Boston-area gamers while running the D&D4e "Vanished Lands: Gusorin Confederation" campaign. As I've mentioned before, I've been running my homebrewed fantasy world for 25 years now!

After some introductory "preludes" (a concept borrowed from White Wolf's Storyteller: World of Darkness horror games) and heated rules debates, the new Player Character party, dubbed the "Faith-Based Initiative," began its misadventures on the Plains of Sathendo. Longtime members Paul J., Alex J., Beruk A., and Greg D.C. have been joined by gamers from the past few years, including Brian W., John C.M., and Sara F., as well as newcomers Josh C. and Greg's girlfriend Anna G.

Sara's boyfriend Josh ended up deciding to sit out the tabletop game until Paul and Anna return to school for the fall. In addition, Paul's girlfriend Brie and Alex's girlfriend Serena C. have sat in on a few sessions, so my basement has been fairly crowded! In September, John will be moving to Maryland, and Dexter V.H. and Byron V.O. of the Tuesday night D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands: Holy Steel" teleconferencing team hope to visit from Brooklyn and St. Louis, respectively. Their heroes have been journeying to the ancient empire of Khemet (New Kingdom Egypt).

So far, the "F.B.I." has rescued some refugees from the besieged city of Tekugi, fought monsters in the barbaric Gusorin Confederation, uncovered a priest of Loki and slayed a vampire near the village of Hasnold, and explored the dangerous home of a serial killer in the hamlet of Harsuth. The team recently arrived at Tekugi, which was suspiciously quiet. With the player turnover mentioned above, we'll see if we can master the new rules and gel as a party to reach a truly heroic destiny…

I thought that Sen. Barack Obama's speech last night at the Democratic National Convention in Denver wasn't as inspiring as the one I attended in Boston four years ago, but he did aggressively respond to claims by Republican rival Sen. John McCain and detail both his background and proposed policies. We'll see how the presidential debates go in the coming months. Have a good Labor Day weekend!

Next time: Role-playing rules impressions!